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3:55 PM ET, July 18, 2013


 Top Items: 
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Congressman: Benghazi Survivors Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements  —  Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, said today on the House floor that survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements:  —  “On Tuesday I raised the question …
Chris Frates /
Republicans, White House in Talks Toward Big Fiscal Deal  —  GOP senators and Obama's chief of staff have been meeting for weeks to set a course that might avoid a crisis when America hits its debt limit in the fall.  —  At least a dozen Republican senators are regularly meeting …
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
What happened to Benghazi probe?
Discussion: Althouse, Chicago Boyz, Hot Air, CNN and The Hill
Jeanne Marie Laskas / GQ Magazine Online:
Have You Heard the One About President Joe Biden?  —  That's No Joke.  Consider: He is the most quietly effective politician in D.C. (Don't laugh.)  The “Most Influential Vice President in History.”  (Seriously, stop laughing.)  One of our nation's most senior statesmen.  (Look it up!)
Patrick Howley / The Daily Caller:
IRS lawyer says scandal was overseen by D.C., names names  —  Top IRS officials in Washington, D.C. planned and oversaw the agency's improper targeting of conservative groups, according to the 72-year old retiring IRS lawyer who will testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee.
Darrell Issa / USA Today:
Rep. Darrell Issa: IRS Tea Party trail leads to DC
Discussion: and The Raw Story
Committee on Oversight & Government Reform:
IRS Chief Counsel's Office Demanded Information on 2010 Election Activity of Tea Party Applicants
Wall Street Journal:
The IRS Goes to Washington
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Meredith Shiner / The World's Greatest …:
Testy Meeting Among Senate GOP on ‘Nuclear Option’ Deal  —  A meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday grew tense as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his members he could have gotten a better deal on nominations than the one negotiated by rank-and-file Republicans.
Yahoo! News:
The Senate's Nuclear Deal Isn't Enough for One Senator
Jake Miller / CBS News:
Texas governor Rick Perry signs controversial abortion law  —  Capping off nearly a month of intense media coverage and legislative hijinks, Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, signed a bill restricting abortions on Thursday.  —  The measure effectively bans all abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy …
Jon Lovett / Salon:
Liz Cheney for Senate  —  Vicious, cynical and talented Liz Cheney is perfect  —  Liz Cheney, the infamous political operative and daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, announced last night that she is running for Senate.  After careful consideration, I believe this is welcome news …
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Prominent Democrats Are Now Comfortable With Racial and Ethnic Profiling  —  How else can one interpret President Obama and Senator Chuck Schumer saying that the NYPD's Ray Kelly would make a good secretary of Homeland Security?  —  On Wednesday, President Obama assured a Univision reporter that Ray Kelly …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
For Coalition Politics; Against Hypocrisy Trolling
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Des Moines Register:
State fires agent who reported speeding  —  Larry Hedlund plans to sue the state, alleging mistreatment  —  Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent: Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent  —  Larry Hedlund reacts to being fired as DCI agent  —  RAW VIDEO: Iowa troopers chase speeding governor's...
Discussion: The Raw Story
Robert Costa / National Review:
Paul Ryan Returns to Iowa
Discussion: Post Politics and Ballot Box
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Planned Parenthood To Close Three Texas Clinics  —  Planned Parenthood on Wednesday informed staff at three of its facilities in Texas that they would be closing, according to people familiar with the decision.  —  The three clinics are located in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin, Texas.
Hadas Gold / Politico:
DNA test: Rep. Steve Cohen not the father  —  The woman whom Rep. Steve Cohen has been claiming is his out-of-wedlock daughter is not, according to a paternity test revealed on Thursday.  —  CNN had a paternity test done on Victoria Brink with Cohen's participation, although the Tennessee Democrat did not appear on camera.
Discussion: CNN and FishbowlDC
Nasser Al-Awlaki / New York Times:
The Drone That Killed My Grandson  —  SANA, Yemen — I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.  —  The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five …
Discussion: emptywheel and Mediaite
Rich Yeselson / Politico:
Ted Cruz is a legitimate 2016 threat  —  Ted Cruz is heading to Iowa this week for the state GOP's summer picnic.  He's going to New Hampshire to speak before the Republican State Committee on Aug. 23 He visited South Carolina, another early primary state, in May.
Rich Lowry / Politico:
Conversation about race?  Get real  —  Let's take the advice of the attorney general of the United States.  Let's have a national conversation about race in the wake of the Zimmerman case.  Let's make it a painfully honest conversation — except about all the things that are painful for us to admit.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Moscow Trip for Obama May Be Off as Snowden Tensions Build  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Robert J. Lopez / Los Angeles Times:
17 people arrested in Zimmerman trial protest in Victorville  —  Demonstrators in Beverly Hills protest the George Zimmerman verdict on Wednesday.  (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / July 17, 2013)  —  Demonstrators held a peaceful rally in Beverly Hills against the George Zimmerman trial verdict …
Ted Nugent /
Zimmerman should sue Trayvon's parents
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama to Chicago teens: ‘I was you guys’  —  First lady Michelle Obama recalled her own struggles getting acclimated to college as she offered advice Thursday to Chicago teens whose experiences have mirrored her own.  —  “I was you guys,” she told students participating in Urban Alliance Chicago …
Discussion: CNN
Jim DeMint back at war with Republicans  —  Jim DeMint's at war with Republicans — again.  —  The tea party firebrand who made his mark in GOP primary races across the country is now at the helm of the Heritage Foundation where its political arm is doing the same thing: holding conservatives feet to the fire.
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 More Items: 
John Cook / Gawker:
Here's Where Your Crackstarter Money Is Going
Discussion: Guardian and
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
U.S. reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony errors
Officials warn of Obamacare insurance exchange delays
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
Pew Global Attitudes Project:
America's Global Image Remains More Positive than China's
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Washington Post
John Gizzi /
Rep. Peter King Mulls 2016 Presidential Bid
Discussion: Ballot Box and ABC News
 Earlier Items: 
Michael Simkovic / Concurring Opinions:
Brian Tamanaha Says We Should Look at the Below Average Outcomes (And We Did)
Norman Ornstein / Washington Post:
Let's enact a new Voting Rights Act
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
On Obamacare, Republicans test the definition of insanity
U.S. Senators Said to Reach Deal to Temporarily Hold Down Student Loan Rates
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
‘Ridiculous’: Reporters Mock, Sneer At Daily Caller Intern Who Dared Ask Jay Carney A Question
New York Times:
Voters Approve of City's Progress, Poll Finds, but Seek Empathetic Mayor
Marco Rubio stumbles